Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Reviews, Part II

Slamdance Shorts Block 4
The Whole Day Through was a black-and-white story about a (straight) Canadian couple at a house on a deserted lake. She tells him about a dream; he tells her about a hooker. They walk up a hill. They fold out the couch. They have sex. Probably the best part of the film was the sound. Otherwise pretty unremarkable.

Heiko is the story of an elderly foot fetishist who is teased by his young boy-toy. Compressing a festish into a short film leaves out a lot, and then there's the twist ending (old guy collects and preserves the feet of young lovers he's murdered). The lighting was good, and the content was disturbing, but overall this one needed more character development.

Diva was far and away my favorite of all the shorts we saw. I took a picture of Stan with the director and lead actor, who were both in attendance. Here's the plot: a guy confesses to his best friend that he is in love with him. The best friend rejects him, so the guy moves to Paris, dresses in drag, and does this Mary Tyler Moore scene on the steps of a cathedral. A robber snatches his purse (which has the guy's most valued possession--a picture with his former best friend), so the guy chucks off his wig and chases the robber through the streets of Paris in high heels. It's funny and the plot works well for a short. Check out: http://www.onearthproductions.com/diva.php

Knots was totally weird. It was shot for a competition that allowed only one roll of film and no editing. Okay, so I can appreciate the result as an achievement in that respect. But the director had to explain the symbolism to the audience afterwards, so... This one was far and away my LEAST favorite of all the shorts.

Tripp was pretty doggone cool. It's a "day in the life" portrait of a young Latino skateboarder. His sister deals dope. His mother is caring for his brother, a former gangbanger now crippled as a result of a shooting. He's aimless. He runs into another kid and can tell the kid's heading for trouble. The whole thing is shot in black-and-white, with the exception of the logo on the lead character's t-shirt. It was a pretty compelling story, and the lead actor is HOT (even more so in real life; he and the actress who played the sister both attended the screening).

Sundance Shorts Block V
Force 1 TD is another cool flick. This guy is blind, but he's allergic to dogs, so he has a guide pony. He and his two buds are off to prom, so he's got to find new shoes for the pony. One of his friends locates a pair in Jersey, and the other friend "borrows" his brother's Escalade for the trip. They run out of gas. Hilarity ensues. eBay financed the picture. Check out http://www.guidehorse.org/

Green Porno is a set of three one-minute shorts directed by Isabella Rossellini (and starring her in gender-bending roles as the male of different species of bugs). They're cute, but you got the feeling they were just there because she's famous and the Sundance Channel financed them.

Lloyd Neck was great. Two high school boys who have a crush on each other but can't bring themselves to do anything about it. The one's little sister is the perceptive character. Nicely done. Enough character development to let you root for the boys, but not enough for a feature film.

Sunlight Shadows is the same story told twice: once from the man's point of view, and once from the woman's. A couple breaks up. You go through the exact same roll of film twice, with different narration. Unfortunately this works way better in concept than in reality. Who expresses their emotions in such poetical terms? No one this side of the eighteenth century, I'll guarantee you that.

August 15th is the fabulous and disturbing story of a woman who is raped on a bus full of passengers. She makes the robbers/rapists stop the bus and toss off the one guy who tried to come to her aid. Then she kills everyone left on board. It's a true story--happened in China several years ago. It's directed by a Chinese woman. All the production work was done in China, and all the post-production in the U.S.

The Funeral is a comedy about a woman who stages her own funeral. Just because. She's not dying. It's a charming short. I think I have friends who would do something like that.

Finally, I Love Sarah Jane is another zombie flick. This one eschews the sex in favor of a sweet love story--among two teenagers who are fighting the zombies. You've got to love a girl who can kick serious zombie ass!

The Sundance Experience
Although the trip home yesterday was trying, we had a GREAT time overall. Sunday night we were discussing how much better this had been than most of our weekend trips. Now I want to go to more film festivals. Maybe Toronto next.


Post a Comment

<< Home